Cole Applauds Passage of Key Appropriations Bills
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS), released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 6157. The legislation includes the annual appropriations bills for the Department of Defense(DOD) and LHHS. This two-bill package for fiscal year 2019 appropriations reflects the agreement reached earlier this month during negotiations of a bicameral conference committee on which Cole served.
“Passage of this legislation is a monumental moment that proves Congress can effectively govern by regular order and responsibly provide for some of the nation’s most pressing and critical needs. This marks the first time in 10 years the DOD Appropriations bill has been sent to the President on time, and the first time in 22 years the LHHS Appropriations bill has been sent to the President on time,” said Cole. “Through this key vote, I am pleased that lawmakers advanced funding that strengthens our military and equips our dedicated service members with the resources they need to forge confidently ahead in every mission. The DOD Appropriation provides funding for 13 new warships, 93 new F-35 joint strike fighter planes, 15 new KC-46 tankers, and monies to add 16,000 additional soldiers to our forces.
“Along with critical funding for our nation’s defense, I am also incredibly proud that the LHHS Appropriations bill is included and that it maintained many of the priorities first advanced by the subcommittee I chair. It was an honor to be a part of the conference committee negotiations that secured funding for several vital programs and initiatives—including a significant boost for the National Institutes of Health(NIH) and focused funding for educational programs like TRIO and Gear Up. In addition, the LHHS bill contained healthy increases for Impact Aid, Head Start, and early childhood education programs. Further, the bill also contained funding for workforce development programs and increased funding for career and technical training. Without question, this legislation helps ensure Americans are healthier, better educated, and trained for our collective future.
“It is also important to note that these bills passed the House with a large bipartisan majority with 361 Republicans and Democrats voting together in favor of these bills. This critical funding totals nearly 65% of annual government appropriations and is essential to the security and well-being of our country."